Finding Mudville: Sports and Beer

  • Wednesday, May 15, 2013

There are certain games of participation when it is okay to drink beer.
Take horseshoes. Even though you are throwing a three-pound shoe that looks like the letter U at a post 40 feet away where your teammate and your opponent are standing, it is quite acceptable to hold the horseshoe in one hand and a longneck bottle in the other.
Recently I observed three sports where the consumption of beer during play is okay: golf, bowling and fishing.
I know why they have a 19th Hole on the golf course. One never wins at golf, but instead suffers through various degrees of losing. Beer is supposed to deaden that pain. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t.
When I hit a tee shot that lands eight inches from the pin and I three putt, I skip the remaining 12 holes and head straight for the 19th.
I don’t understand beer and bowling.
I’m guessing they invented bowling as a time killer in taverns while patrons imbibe and drown their sorrows. In order to prevent bar fights, innkeepers installed bowling lanes and invited customers to roll a few frames while sipping a pint or three.
I used to bowl in a league when I was younger. Bowling night was on Wednesdays back then, which meant my Wednesday night was like everyone else’s Friday nights.
There is no pressure in bowling, at least not like there is in golf. No exercise, either.
You get up when it’s your turn, put down your beer, and pick up a 16-pound ball. You stand at the end of the lane, sight the 10 pins gleaming bright white at the other end, take four steps and roll your ball.
You stand there and watch nine of the 10 pins explode and then contemplate why the 10th pin didn’t fall. Conclusions range from Super Glue on the bottom of the pin to some Newtonian law of quantum multi-dimensional physics that allows 10 things to occupy the same space at the same time and only nine of those 10 things fall down.
Like shampooing you repeat the process only to miss that stubborn 10th pin by a yard and a half and watch the lane mouth mock you when it sweeps away the errant pin. Afterward, you return to your seat and wait 10 minutes before it’s your turn again. The adult beverage helps pass the time. While bowling may be a nice sport in which to participate, watching bowling is worse than watching paint dry, which brings us to the most boring sport ever invented – fishing.
The sport of fishing requires one to sit in a boat for 12 hours to catch five fish. If we’re doing the math that’s one fish for every two-and-a-half hours of fishing, and it’s not a guarantee you’re the one that’s going to catch the fish.
You can sit there all day and not get a nibble. That’s when the beer play enters the picture.
I don’t like to drink beer when I fish, but instead I’ll bring a book or three with me and read. I know Bill Dance wouldn’t approve, but fishing and my ADD don’t mix.
They say there’s a fine line between fishing and standing in the water looking like an idiot holding a stick. I say that’s what I look like when I golf, an idiot standing in the water holding a stick trying to kill turtles.
I need a drink. 

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